By Jason Wickham, massage therapy student at Globe University-Moorhead
“Good morning… My name is Jason Wickerham and I will be your massage therapist today.”
It has been a dream to say those words. Yet at the beginning of summer quarter I was scared and nervous, not knowing where to begin.
For the past 12 years I worked in management, and after careful consideration I decided I needed a change. I was unhappy going to work every day. And life is too short to be unhappy.
Five years ago I looked into massage therapy as a potential career change. I really liked the idea of being able to help people reduce stress, increase range of motion in a joint and overall feel better! At the time I looked into other schools and even went to orientation at one, but financial aid was not going to cover it all and I had to wait on my dream.
Fast forward five years and I was having a particularly trying time at my job. After discussing it with some close friends, I decided to take the leap and re-enter student life. Researching different school choices, I came across Globe University-Moorhead; after visiting I knew it was going to be a good fit for me.
When meeting with an admission representative they had a genuine caring about my life—and whether the college, my program choice and I would be a good fit. The way the school year is set up still allows me to work full time, something I would not have been able to do at other schools. The financial aid office was awesome and took the time to explain my options on how to cover the cost and worked with me to ensure that stress was taken out of the equation.
In the massage therapy program at Globe University, my first hands-on class was Swedish massage. The end of the course was used as our clinical. I was in the class with Ruth, the only other student, and after the first day we knew we had our work cut out for us. With the help of the instructor and program chair Toby Mulvihill, we learned all the Swedish massage strokes, and got an introduction to anatomy, the massage code of ethics and how to maintain client-focused care. The classroom was available to us during non-class times and Ruth and I made a weekly study/practice evening during which we would come in and practice or go over areas where we need more work.
Once week eight come around it was time for competencies. Stressful? Yes, but worth it in the end.
Passing competencies allows you to practice on the public with instructor supervision. Preparing for the competency and ultimately starting the Swedish clinical in week nine was a great steppingstone for professional career growth. You have to:
- Book your own clients
- Give reminder calls
- Conduct massages
- Fill out SOAP notes (a method of documentation employed by health care providers to write out notes in a patient’s chart) for each client during the clinical
As a licensed massage therapist you are completing these same functions on a daily basis. Giving me the hands-on experience only helps to strengthen my skills and reinforce my education.
After each massage I became more confident in my skills and my clients had positive things to say about the massage. One client even said that I was better then an already licensed massage therapists that she had been to.
Being prepared to say, “Good morning… My name is Jason Wickerham and I will be your massage therapist today” with confidence because of my education from Globe University will truly be a dream come true for me!